GBC: This is what we need from the next mayor


Bal­ti­more City is at a cross­roads. The up­com­ing elec­tion for mayor pro­vides an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity for Bal­ti­more to turn the cor­ner with bold lead­er­ship.

While the Greater Bal­ti­more Com­mit­tee does not en­dorse or fi­nan­cially sup­port can­di­dates for pub­lic of­fice, we strongly be­lieve that there are cer­tain qual­i­ties that the next mayor of Bal­ti­more must pos­sess to ef­fec­tively lead the city in the midst of these un­cer­tain times and un­prece­dented chal­lenges.

The next mayor of Bal­ti­more must be: A strong, trans­for­ma­tional leader who ex­erts the con­sis­tent, steady di­rec­tion needed to cre­ate a cul­ture of com­pe­tence, ef­fi­ciency and trans­parency within city gov­ern­ment.

Aper­son of in­dis­putable in­tegrity with the re­solve to hold all elected and ap­pointed of­fi­cials in Bal­ti­more to the high­est eth­i­cal stan­dards.

A col­lab­o­ra­tive leader who forges strong work­ing re­la­tion­ships with the City Coun­cil and other elected lead­ers at the lo­cal, state and na­tional level.

A true pub­lic ser­vant who is com­mit­ted to im­prov­ing the qual­ity of life of all city res­i­dents — re­gard­less of neigh­bor­hood or zip code.

A for­ward-think­ing leader who will ad­vance an in­clu­sive eco­nomic growth strat­egy to re­verse the ef­fects of racial in­equity that has left many res­i­dents and neigh­bor­hoods be­hind.

A vi­sion­ary who can set clearly com­mu­ni­cated goals for the city and im­ple­ment the poli­cies and pro­grams nec­es­sary to achieve those goals.

A cus­tomer ser­vice-minded leader who ap­pre­ci­ates the im­por­tant role that the pri­vate sec­tor has on the city’s eco­nomic growth and pros­per­ity and cre­ates a cul­ture within city gov­ern­ment that is sup­port­ive of busi­nesses’ need for a sense of ur­gency, trans­parency and in­tegrity.

A trusted com­mu­ni­ca­tor who will be fully trans­par­ent and will seek guid­ance from res­i­dents, com­mu­ni­ties, and busi­nesses about their needs and pri­or­i­ties.

By elect­ing a can­di­date with these char­ac­ter­is­tics, Bal­ti­more City will ben­e­fit from a mayor who will not merely lead Bal­ti­more, but dra­mat­i­cally trans­form the city for the bet­ter­ment of cur­rent res­i­dents and the gen­er­a­tions that fol­low.

Don­ald C. Fry

The writer is pres­i­dent and CEO of the Greater Bal­ti­more Com­mit­tee; he is writ­ing on be­half of the GBC’s Board of Di­rec­tors.

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